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National Park with shaded relief and elevation

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#1
Raphael Saldanha

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Hi!

I made this map about a National Park in Brazil, called "Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos", usind shaded relief with a elevation overlay. Please, take a look in the following maps a send me your opinions and suggests.

Raphael Saldanha
Brazil - Minas Gerais

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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Very nice! I do see some minor details that could be touched up:
- The road numbers are not centered on the road
- The white halo around some of the text labels (Parque Serrano for example) is a bit intrusive. I've found that setting a transparency on the halo often gives rather nice results. Alternatively, you can use the local background color for the halo, to make it kinda blend in. May not work here though since there is a slight gradient in those locations.
- Insert a gap in the contour line where the contour label is, this will make it more readable.
- River labels look nicer if you let them curve along with the river. Look at the Rio de Bananal in the centre of the detailed image.

What software did you use to produce this?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Raphael Saldanha

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Very nice! I do see some minor details that could be touched up:
- The road numbers are not centered on the road
- The white halo around some of the text labels (Parque Serrano for example) is a bit intrusive. I've found that setting a transparency on the halo often gives rather nice results. Alternatively, you can use the local background color for the halo, to make it kinda blend in. May not work here though since there is a slight gradient in those locations.
- Insert a gap in the contour line where the contour label is, this will make it more readable.
- River labels look nicer if you let them curve along with the river. Look at the Rio de Bananal in the centre of the detailed image.

What software did you use to produce this?


I used ArcGIS and Photoshop. Thanks for the recommendations!

#4
DaveB

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Looks good.

Other than Hans's excellent suggestions I would experiment with putting the title, legend and box with scale bar and north arrow and all together in one spot on the map. Right now they seem kind of scattered.
Dave Barnes
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#5
CHART

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I like the terrain rendering.

Other then what has already been said...

Building symbol should be rotated to fit the road angle. In other words all building angles are the same.

Cheers.
Chart

#6
MapMedia

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Well done! Was this map done strictly in GIS or what?
I would reduce the width of the text halos a bit.
Comments by others are fine.

Also, please say a few words about the map's purpose.

Thanks for posting to the gallery.

#7
Raphael Saldanha

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Thanks for the posts!

I will talk a little about the map and processes involved, but first, I ask for excuses for my poor english...

Here in Brazil, we suffers a lot with the absence of important maps, like National Parks areas. So, I started to congregate some base maps and make general/topographic maps about National Parks in the southeast region of Brazil.

Unhappyly, map makers in Brazil suffer with absence of base maps, or with the availability of only very old maps. The USGS equivalent in Brazil, the IBGE (Instituto Nacional de Geografia e Estatística), is responsible, with the DSG (military), for all systematic survey in Brazil, in continentals dimensions. In such a way, the least great effort was made in the 70'and 80', with a survey of almost whole country in 1:50.000 and 1:25.000 (in some areas).

At this days, we just count with this maps, in paper, and some in digital way.

The IBGE is offering the base maps (topographic charts, or "cartas topográficas") in digital way gradually, in DGN.

So, the process to make that map, is, first, import the DGN to CAD program, make some adjustments, and export to shapefile. The topographic representation takes the most part of the time, because I have to inform to each contour his elevation. To this, I use an old extension in ArcView called Countour Labelling Tools. The following steps, I think you know, make a TIN, relief shade, choose the tints, displacement of the labels, etc.

I don`t think the USA or other countrys has perfect survey organs, with almost live updates of his maps. But here in Brazil, we are very very far from this.

Actually, I`m re-placing the river labels, and studying a solution for the halos (transparent or just reduce, or both?). I`m taking as examples the NPS maps, the Cynthia Brewer book ("Design better maps") and the work of Hal Shelton (http://www.shadedrel...lton/index.html).

Again, thanks for the posts! When the modifications be ready, I will post!

#8
DaveB

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I`m taking as examples the NPS maps, the Cynthia Brewer book ("Design better maps") and the work of Hal Shelton (http://www.shadedrel...lton/index.html).

Again, thanks for the posts! When the modifications be ready, I will post!


You're using good research materials there! I'll look forward to seeing the revised version. :)
Dave Barnes
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#9
Raphael Saldanha

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Here is! The 2.0 version!

Following, is a list of the improvements and corrections I hade made after your suggestions and the first print test:
  • Railroad symbol;
  • Elevation tint: green areas less saturated (from 76% to 50%);
  • Constructions: placement and rotation (Thanks Geosphere Geomatics!);
  • River labels (Thanks der Maarel!);
  • Halo: the halo now is transparent, but the major text no (with two Annotations... not a elegant way) (Thanks der Maarel and MapMedia!);
  • Road number: centered and little reduced (Thanks der Maarel!);
  • Legend and other symbols: aggregate, but I keep the title isolated... I think we have more balance (Thanks DaveB!);
  • Some minor errors and some things I don't remember hehehe.
So, I attached some new samples. Please, take a look, compare, and tell me what do you think!

By now, I'm having some doubts:
  • Elevation tints: the higher parts, with white color... Here in Brazil, we don't have snow, yet! Change the white to some light brow? I think this is the old problem with the standardized elevation tints... They aren't a land cover, but it wants to be...
  • Legend and other symbols: Must the legend be first, at left?
  • Legend and other symbols 2: Font size. It was 10pt, I change to 8pt. It's more near the sizes used in the map. Good or bad?
  • Urban areas (in light pink): we have some holes, probaly filled with vegetation. But I don't have the land cover map... Are these holes looking bad?
  • Fonts: should I use more fonts? I just used Verdana and Arial. I think I can be use more serif fonts... but where? In elevation text, like "SERRA DOS ÓRGÃOS"?
What do you think?

Thanks!!! :)

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#10
DaveB

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By now, I'm having some doubts:

  • Elevation tints: the higher parts, with white color... Here in Brazil, we don't have snow, yet! Change the white to some light brow? I think this is the old problem with the standardized elevation tints... They aren't a land cover, but it wants to be...
  • Legend and other symbols: Must the legend be first, at left?
  • Legend and other symbols 2: Font size. It was 10pt, I change to 8pt. It's more near the sizes used in the map. Good or bad?
  • Urban areas (in light pink): we have some holes, probaly filled with vegetation. But I don't have the land cover map... Are these holes looking bad?
  • Fonts: should I use more fonts? I just used Verdana and Arial. I think I can be use more serif fonts... but where? In elevation text, like "SERRA DOS ÓRGÃOS"?
What do you think?

Thanks!!! :)


Those doubts are part of the nature of design and to me are a sign that someone is an artist or craftsman, judging their own work with a critical eye, learning and improving in the process and realizing there are always things you want to tweak. Sometimes the trick is knowing when to stop, let the map go and move on to the next project.

Anyway, the map is looking much better with your improvements! :D

I agree that white at the top can be a bit misleading when it doesn't coincide with actual snow cover (we have a similar issue with green for lower elevations here in the dry climate of southern California (and other desert areas). :P
I think the legend block and urbam areas look fine.
I'm not sure you need to use more fonts just because you can. Think about the fonts as symbols and whether using more fonts will help readers get more information from the map or help them get the information that is there more efficiently, or whether more fonts would just clutter the map and make map-reading less efficient.
Dave Barnes
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#11
Raphael Saldanha

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Thanks Dave!

I agree with that. Sometimes is better to stop, or new radical modifications can compromise all the past work.

I think I will do just some minor modifications, or, at least, see how it works...

I will try to use a serif font in the topo names, like "SERRA DOS ÓRGÃOS". What do you think about "Book Antiqua" font?

And, about the white top, I will try some light brow.... let's see if that works...

Ah! deer Maarel suggests a gap in contour lines, to improve the reading of the labels. But I don't know how to do that... someone know? I'm using ArcGIS, with Maplex.


Thanks all!

Raphael

#12
Hans van der Maarel

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May I suggest rounding the numbers next to the elevation bar in the legend? Maybe stretching it and adding 2 or 3 extra elevation values. Running it all the way to white is a tiny bit misleading, 2250m is not that high.

As for fonts... Adding a serif font for 'area' names would be a nice touch, but only do that if you find it estethically pleasing, not because you feel you have to.

Finally, you can call me Hans if you like, but if you insist on calling me by my last name, be advised it's "van der Maarel" (note capitalization, we Dutch people have funny names...) ;)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#13
georgersilva

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As Raphael, am i too, brasilian. We do indeed suffer from not having good up to date base catrographic work.

I had such idea, since i saw NPS maps, to make maps for national parks here, but too much work for a solo project (i am working in ten other things now :P)

Just want to congratule Raphael for great work, and keep improving it.




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